If you speak Spanish or want to learn, you’ll be right at home in Puerto Rico. Like the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Ricans are American citizens (although without a vote in presidential elections). Attractive incentives, courtesy of the Individual Investors Act, exempt retirees from paying taxes on dividends, interest and capital gains. For U.S. citizens to qualify for the exemptions, Puerto Rico must be their real home for at least 183 days of the year. The currency is the U.S. dollar, Medicare is valid and electric plugs are the same as they are at home.
Shopping is a popular Puerto Rican pastime, with designer boutiques on beachfront promenades, Walmart and Walgreens everywhere and other U.S. chains such as 25 Starbucks, including the newest outlet at the Ana G. Méndez University in San Juan that opened after Hurricane Maria’s unwanted arrival last year. And then there are those long stretches of sandy beaches, golf courses, a trio of bioluminescent bays, cobblestone streets in the old city, dance classes in open-air markets, cafes that serve chocolate for breakfast and bars that lay claim to inventing the pina colada. “Puerto Rico has an average of 100 flights daily via 28 airlines including nonstop service from key mainland markets like Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Detroit, Orlando and Atlanta,” said Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico, a nonprofit created this summer to market the island. “Puerto Rico’s unique status makes it particularly attractive for U.S. citizens seeking an affordable place to retire,” Dean adds. Airlines flying to the island include American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest and United.